A.J.N. (Nick) Dawson (1933-2016)

Gerald Barber writes:

Nick, with his twin brother Tim, was born on the 1st September 1933.

After Eton and national service in the Rifle Brigade, he joined the staff at Sunningdale Prep School in 1955. From the start he immersed himself in all sides of boarding school life, teaching Geography and Mathematics and coaching football, athletics and Fives. He became Headmaster in 1967 with his brother Tim, on the retirement of Charlie Sheepshanks (a past Kinnaird Cup winner).

Nick was a fine, principled Headmaster. His boys were always immaculately turned out, always courteous and polite, yet highly competitive. He was a formidable Fives coach, teaching his boys the merit of not making mistakes and showing a determination to win right to the very end of a match. He spent hours and hours on court producing many excellent players over the years. A regular sight at break time was to see Nick's beloved labrador, Whisper, carrying his master's gloves to and from the courts. Nick founded the Prep Schools Fives Tournament in 1968, a competition which Sunningdale won on twelve occasions during his stewardship. His immaculate colour coded score sheets at the competition were much admired over the years.

Nick was a useful Club player himself representing the Old Etonians and other scratch teams on numerous occasions. He retired from Sunningdale in 2005 and lived in the village keeping busy initially doing some teaching as well as tending the school grounds. He became Chairman of the Parish Council and organised the annual Poppy Appeal. He was loved and much respected in the village. On the news of his death the lamp posts in his street were decorated with baskets of flowers in his memory.

Although he never married he was a devoted family man who adored his nephews and nieces and great nephews and nieces. Throughout his life he was very close to his twin brother Tim, each relying on the other in many situations. For the last seven years he had his companion Monika by his side who loved and cared for him devotedly.

Nick died on June 9th 2016. As one old Sunningdalean wrote ' Nick was an inspiration to all who met him'.